Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Burky v. Commissioner of Social Security Administration

United States District Court, D. Arizona

July 27, 2016

Rodney Burky, Plaintiff,
v.
Commissioner of Social Security Administration, Defendant.

          ORDER

          DOUGLAS L. RAYES UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Rodney Burky seeks review under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) of the final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security (Commissioner) denying his application for supplemental security income and disability insurance benefits. Because the decision of the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) is supported by substantial evidence and is not based on legal error, the Commissioner’s decision is affirmed.

         I. Background

         A. Factual Background

         Burky is 49 years old and has a ninth grade education. (A.R. 33.) He previously worked as donation taker, groundskeeper, car washer, stone polisher, and painter. Burky has been diagnosed as bipolar and schizophrenic. He last worked in 2011. (Id. at 221.)

         B. Procedural History

         On August 29, 2012, Burky applied for disability insurance benefits and supplemental security income, alleging disability beginning June 25, 2012. (Id. at 15.) On June 17, 2014, he appeared with his attorney and testified at a hearing before the ALJ. A vocational expert also testified.

         On October 14, 2014, the ALJ issued a decision that Burky was not disabled within the meaning of the Social Security Act. The Appeals Counsel denied Burky’s request for review of the hearing decision, making the ALJ’s decision the Commissioner’s final decision. On September 28, 2015, Burky sought review by this Court.

         II. Legal Standard

         The district court reviews only those issues raised by the party challenging the ALJ’s decision. See Lewis v. Apfel, 236 F.3d 503, 517 n.13 (9th Cir. 2001). The court may set aside the Commissioner’s disability determination only if the determination is not supported by substantial evidence or is based on legal error. Orn v. Astrue, 495 F.3d 625, 630 (9th Cir. 2007). Substantial evidence is more than a scintilla, less than a preponderance, and relevant evidence that a reasonable person might accept as adequate to support a conclusion considering the record as a whole. Id. In determining whether substantial evidence supports a decision, the court must consider the record as a whole and may not affirm simply by isolating a “specific quantum of supporting evidence.” Id. As a general rule, “[w]here the evidence is susceptible to more than one rational interpretation, one of which supports the ALJ’s decision, the ALJ’s conclusion must be upheld.” Thomas v. Barnhart, 278 F.3d 947, 954 (9th Cir. 2002) (citations omitted).

         III. Five-Step Sequential Evaluation Process

         To determine whether a claimant is disabled for purposes of the Social Security Act, the ALJ follows a five-step process. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(a). The claimant bears the burden of proof on the first four steps, but at step five, the burden shifts to the Commissioner. Tackett v. Apfel, 180 F.3d 1094, 1098 (9th Cir. 1999).

         At the first step, the ALJ determines whether the claimant is engaging in substantial gainful activity. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520(a)(4)(i). If so, the claimant is not disabled and the inquiry ends. Id. At step two, the ALJ determines whether the claimant has a “severe” medically determinable physical or mental impairment. § 404.1520(a)(4)(ii). If not, the claimant is not disabled and the inquiry ends. Id. At step three, the ALJ considers whether the claimant’s impairment or combination of impairments meets or medically equals an impairment listed in Appendix 1 to Subpart P of 20 C.F.R. Pt. 404. § 404.1520(a)(4)(iii). If so, the claimant is automatically found to be disabled. Id. If not, the ALJ proceeds to step four. At step four, the ALJ assesses the claimant’s residual functional capacity (“RFC”) and determines whether the claimant is still capable of performing past relevant work. § 404.1520(a)(4)(iv). If so, the claimant is not disabled and the inquiry ends. Id. If not, the ALJ proceeds to the fifth and final step, where he determines whether the claimant can perform any other work based on the claimant’s RFC, age, education, and work experience. § 404.1520(a)(4)(v). If so, the claimant is not disabled. Id. If not, the claimant is disabled. Id.

         At step one, the ALJ found that Burky meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through December 31, 2013, and that he has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since June 25, 2012. (A.R. 17.) At step two, the ALJ found that Burky has the following severe impairments: bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, panic disorder with agoraphobia, and antisocial personality disorder. (Id.) At step three, the ALJ determined that Burky does not have an impairment or combination ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.